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Sh.5.7 billion to compensate victims of human-wildlife conflict victims

The government is set to spend Sh.5.7 billion to compensate human-wildlife conflict victims in the country, Principal Secretary (PS) in charge of Wildlife Ms Silvia Museiya has said.

Ms Museiya speaking in Umande, Laikipia East sub county, said that compensation for the human-wildlife victims will kick off next week.

“I am supposed to pay a bill of Sh 5.7 billion and already I have received a billion to start paying from next week. I know when you see elephants, you don’t see anything beneficial due to the damage they cause,” said the PS.

She revealed that the government is developing a plan of insuring human-wildlife conflicts victims.

“We have measures like insurance schemes to make sure you get compensated in case you get any challenges from wildlife. We will clear previous compensation claims and start incorporating you in the insurance scheme,” Ms Museiya told Umande ward residents.

She pointed out that, to end cases of human-wildlife conflict, the government has allocated funds to drill boreholes for easy accessibility of water by wildlife and reduce competition of that precious commodity between human and wildlife.

“You need water as well as wild animals and for the first time in Kenya’s budget we have included water for wildlife, drilling of boreholes, water pans inside conservancy so as to confine them,” the PS noted.

Ms Museiya said that ranchers in the area are also expected to fence their private lands aimed at ensuring wild animals do not invade residents’ farms and destroy properties.

Laikipia being a tourism destination, the PS said that the government will raise taxes for ranchers to boost wildlife kitty and get money for environmental conservation and human-wildlife compensation.

Laikipia North Member of Parliament Sarah Lekore said that they will lobby for the approval of human-wildlife compensation kitty.

Josphat Riri, a resident, urged the government to develop a plan to ensure human-wildlife conflicts victims rea compensated without delay.

In Laikipia County, there are at least 130 human-wildlife conflict victims who are expected to be compensated after their claims were reviewed and approved by the wildlife management and compensation committee.

Some of the cases scrutinized were eight death claims, several permanent injuries, crops damage and livestock killing, all occasioned by wildlife.

The claims reviewed were between 2016 to 2021 with Laikipia North sub county most affected.

Death cases that were caused by wildlife will be compensated at Sh.5 million for each case, permanent injuries will be Sh.3 million, other forms of injuries will range between Sh zero to Sh.2 million and destruction of property will be compensated as per the market value.

The PS was accompanied by Laikipia County Governor Joshua Irungu, Senator John Kinyua, area MP Mwangi Kiunjuri among other leaders.

By Muturi Mwangi

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